MEDIA ALERT: Representatives from Bass Pro Shops, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, and Dale Earnhardt Inc. will be on hand Friday, May 21 at 3:30pm ET in the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Center Deadline Room for a special announcement. Photo opportunities will continue outside the Media Center following the press conference.
1. Last Week: Jamie McMurray and teammate Juan Pablo Montoya suffered a similar fate last weekend at Dover International Speedway. Both drivers fell victim to broken track bar mounts and were sent to the garage for repairs. McMurray was able to return to the race and finish 32nd while Montoya would call it an early day and be credited with 35th. McMurray currently sits 17th in the point standings, 88 out of the Chase cutoff and Montoya is 19th, 112 points out of the Chase cutoff.
2. McMurray All-Star History: McMurray has taken the green flag four times in both the Showdown and the All-Star Race. In 2003 he earned a spot in the All-Star race after his victory the previous year with Chip Ganassi at Charlotte Motor Speedway. His best start in the Sprint Showdown came in 2004 when he started third. His best finish in the Showdown came in 2009 when McMurray finished second to qualify for the All-Star race. In his four previous All-Star appearances McMurray has a best start of sixth in 2008, while his best finish was ninth in last year’s event.
3. Montoya All-Star History: Juan Pablo Montoya will participate in the Sprint Showdown to race his way into the All-Star Race for the third time in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career. His first career Showdown start in 2007 was cut short after a lap-one accident relegated him to a 29th-place finish. The 2008 season Montoya earned his first visit in the All-Star Race after his 2007 Infineon victory. Montoya took the checkered flag in the 14th position. Last year Montoya started ninth and finished 12th.
4. Pit Crew Challenge: Both of the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates pit crews will be participating in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pit Crew Challenge on Wednesday evening, May 19 (7pm ET) at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. This will be the fifth appearance for the No. 42 crew in the five-year-old event. Last year, the No.1 team brought home six of the seven individual champion awards.
5. Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing’s Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops / National Wild Turkey Federation Chevrolet and 2010 Daytona 500 Champion will compete in this year’s edition of the Shell / Pennzoil Ultimate Victory Challenge on Saturday, May 22 prior to his racing in the Sprint All-Star Race. The event, which challenges drivers to perform their best victory “burnout celebration,” will award the winning driver with $10,000 for their charity of choice.
6. National Wild Turkey Federation: The National Wild Turkey Federation’s (NWTF) “Flying Turkey” logo will appear on the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops / National Wild Turkey Federation Chevrolet driven by Daytona 500 Champion Jamie McMurray for the Sprint All-Star Race. The Bass Pro Shops partnership with NWTF is part of the Conservation Fund’s “Racing for America’s Wildlife” program. The program is designed to engage the NASCAR community in conserving America’s hunting and fishing heritage through habitat protection, restoration, education, and outreach. The NWTF has over 500,000 members, with chapters across the United States, Canada, and 10 other countries around the world. The Federation has worked with their volunteers, partners and wildlife agencies to restore wild turkey populations in the U.S. and Canada.
7. McMurray Makes Pit-Stop at Bass Pro Shops Concord: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing’s Jamie McMurray, driver of the No.1 Bass Pro Shops / National Wild Turkey Federation Chevrolet and 2010 Daytona 500 Champion, will make his first appearance at the Bass Pro Shops in Concord, N.C. at 8181 Concord Mills Boulevard on Saturday, May 22 from 12-1:00pm ET. The driver will welcome race fans visiting the Charlotte Area for a Q&A session beginning at 12pm ET followed by an autograph session at 12:15pm ET (one autograph per person, as time allows). For more information contact Bass Pro Shops Concord, N.C. at (704) 979-2200.
8. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Fan Day: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates will host a driver autograph session on Thursday, May 27 to give fans the opportunity to have an item signed by 2009 member of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Juan Pablo Montoya and 2010 Daytona 500 Champion, Jamie McMurray. The drivers will appear at the team’s Concord, N.C. facility, located just minutes from Charlotte Motor Speedway, from 10-11am ET. Fans can call 704-662-9642 Ext. 1148 to reserve their wristbands between the hours of 9 am and 2 pm ET. Each person/caller will be limited to reserving two wrist bands. Once reserved, fans must pick-up their wristbands on the morning of the autograph session (May 27th) between 8 – 9:30am ET in the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Gift Shop. Fans will be allowed one personal item, per person, for autograph. No photos with the drivers will be allowed.
9. Rev the Vote: Voting continues to run for the 2010 Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Juan Pablo Montoya needs your vote! To vote for Montoya text “vote” to 7777 on your Sprint phone, visit NASCAR.com or visit a voting booth in the Sprint Experience display area this week. Also, an incentive to Sprint customers, every vote submitted via Sprint or Nextel mobile counts as double in the driver standings. Voting began on Wednesday, March 24 and will run through next Saturday, May 22, ending one hour prior to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #070. Crew Chief Kevin “Bono” Manion and the Bass Pro Shops team have elected to bring Chassis No. 070 to Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend for the Sprint All-Star Race. This chassis was last used for the 2010 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This chassis also ran in the 2009 spring events at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway and in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway where it finished 10th, 25th and ninth respectively.
No. 42 Target Chevrolet (NSCS): Chassis #906. Crew Chief Brian Pattie and the Target team have elected to bring chassis No. 906 to Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend. This chassis was used in the 2010 season’s second event at Auto Club Speedway where Montoya qualified on the outside pole but had an engine let go forcing a 37th-place finish.